The SamuraiMarine

Thoughts, Philosophy, Life and Love

So if I buy the album, do I have to take the baggage?

I recently heard a song by Amy Winehouse and discovered that I really like her music. So I mentioned this to a couple people I know, who immediately started telling me about all the recent news she has been involved in.

Tell me… how does this change how I feel about the music? Granted, if I found out that she was using the profits from the sale of her CDs to organize a crusade to kill kittens and puppies with baseball bats and chainsaws, or anything else for that matter, then maybe I would be hesitant to buy one of her CDs.

Fact is that her baggage and issues are just that, hers. By purchasing her CD, in no way do I make myself party to her problems. I am merely buying the CD. She will continue to have whatever problems she has whether I buy it or not, so why should I not?

Unfortunately I also feel this way about other artists that seem to draw media attention like so many moths to a bright light. People like Brittany Spears and such… regardless of how many albums are purchased or videos are sold, then are still going to implode taking their career, if you could call it that, with them. With people like that, fans are merely a doorstop, holding the door open a little longer but eventually it will close.

When I buy a disk, it is because I genuinely like the music and because I will not buy a CD until I am sure I will like it, you can surmise that it takes me a while before I break down and get it.

Artists are just what they are. They belong to a class of people that are not too much unlike very bright stars. They burn brightly for a short period of time, then collapse on themselves and either become burned out embers of what they once were… like Milli Vanilli, or becomes so dense that not even like can escape… we will not talk about those ones.

No… When I buy the CD, I could care less about the situation of the artist. Their music, if it is truly well done, stands on it’s own merit. That is all that is important to me.

All that said, if you like that bluesy, soulful sound that you remember from the late sixties and early 70s, then listen to “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse. Very good.

Samuel Wright
Writer / Father / Listener / Philosopher
I am a starving writer living in the backwater of California, in a place known mostly for Buck Owens and Valley Fever called Bakersfield.

This site is my release. A place for me to talk about things that annoy, please, or excite me.

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2 Comments

  1. grant

    I’ll be brief in my response and say this. Are the stars of today any worse than the stars of yesterday. I would submit no, its just that there are more oppotunities with, camera phones, digital cameras, public surveillance systems, mutiple 24 marathon news shows and endless, fill the time slot celebrity gossip shows around to capture and play their foibles and goings on than there were back in the day. Some of the greatest musical artist’s of all times have been, screwed up, not mentally stable folks, who turned out some really amazing music, in either spite of, or because of their quirk’s or whatever you would like to call them.

  2. In some aspects I will agree with you, in others, I will not. The biggest difference between the musical talents that we have now, versus the ones when we were young is that many of the people out there now do not have talent. If you take away the recording booths, the voiceovers, the cut tracks, the synths and background vocals, many of them really sound like crap. What makes them gain the celebrity status is their look. Do you think that Brittany Spears would be half as successful if she looked like a cross between Earnest Borgnine and Shelly Winters? Look at Shania Twain’s early attempts. Same is true of others. You have to sell the whole package, or at least the body, a good sound crew can fix the rest.

    Another point is that, and this is especially true of the seventies and sixties, musicians had causes… I mean REAL CAUSES. Equal rights for Women and Blacks, Love not War, Stop the Red Threat. That is what they based their music on and because it struck a nerve that everyone could relate to, people flocked to things like the Monterey Jazz Festival, Woodstock, etc… to see artists. They did do stupid things, but a lot of the time they did not try to hide from it, and made it public themselves. Many of them flat out admitted to using dope, no qualms at all, in fact I want to say John Lennon lit up right on stage before the shooting of the Michael Douglas show.

    Today there is not much that people see as motivation for music, or a movement. Songs about high gas prices would be rather boring. Songs condemning the war in Iraq would cause too much friction against the soldiers, and we all know that we do not was to treat these men and women like we treated those returning from Vietnam. Songs about the current administration… well… we already had one Lawrence Welk, why have another? There is just really nothing to move them. About the only genre that does not have that much “baggage” is country and western.

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